News archives

2012/2013 Donor Award Recipients 
Posted on Dec 13, 2012

Congratulations to all our 2012/13 donor award recipients!

Rylie Moore Named Mr. Gay Victoria 
Posted on Dec 3, 2012

Rylie Moore (graduate student in Psychology) was recently named Mr. Gay Victoria. As presented on their website,,

“Through education and public performances, Mr. Gay Canada’s goal is to help create positive, authentic and empowered role models that will be a champion for Gay Human Rights within his own community as well as, on a global stage. Through these public performances, outreach and education, MGC will raise awareness of issues pertinent to young gay men, such as safe sex awareness, bullying and self-acceptance.”

Rylie’s hope is to use this platform to advocate for mental health awareness in LGBTQ youth. His platform essay can be found here.

Martin Smith: Puppy Playtime 
Posted on Nov 29, 2012

Martin Smith (Psychology) was on Global TV BC last night discussing De-Stress Fest and 'Puppy Playtime.'   Global TV (CTV Vancouver Island and Shaw TV, among other media, were also in attendance yesterday.)

Ulrich Mueller: Fair Play 
Posted on Nov 21, 2012

Ulrich Mueller is quoted in an article in the Nov/Dec issue of local YAM magazine entitled "Fair Play," looking at how being playful in adulthood is essential to people's health and well-being. The story is written by John Threlfall, communications officer for UVic Fine Arts.  YAM

Paul Brewster: Dementia subtype can be predicted five years before onset 
Posted on Nov 15, 2012

Researchers have found a way to predict whether a person will develop Alzheimer's Disease or vascular dementia up to five years before diagnosis. UVic PhD student Paul Brewster is lead author.  Marketwire (news release)

Bonnie Leadbeater: on CFAX 1070 tomorrow 
Posted on Nov 9, 2012

Bonnie Leadbeater (Psychology) will be on CFAX 1070 tomorrow from 10 to 11 a.m. discussing the upcoming anti-bullying summit conference to be held on Nov. 13. Leadbeater is an author and evaluator of the WITS and WITS Leads elementary school programs for the prevention of bullying.  CFAX Radio

New course: Cross-Cultural Psychology 
Posted on Nov 6, 2012

Details available here.

Robert Gifford: Dragons of inaction 
Posted on Oct 31, 2012

Robert Gifford (Psychology) was interviewed on CHEK News and was a guest on CBC Radio's "Almanac" regarding what what he calls the “dragons of inaction” or people's lack preparation for what they know is could happen.  CHEK NEWS  CBC Radio 

Robert Gifford: Dragons of inaction 
Posted on Oct 31, 2012

Robert Gifford (Psychology) was interviewed on CHEK News and was a guest on CBC Radio's "Almanac" regarding what what he calls the “dragons of inaction” or people's lack preparation for what they know is could happen.  CHEK NEWS  CBC Radio 

Robert Gifford: Hurricane, earthquake or zombie apocalypse, two-thirds of Canadians not disaster-ready 
Posted on Oct 31, 2012

In wake of the earthquake in Haida Gwaii and Hurricane Sandy, Robert Gifford commented for a Postmedia News article which ran in the Ottawa Citizen and is sure to be picked up by several papers in the coming days about Canadians' lack of preparedness in the event of a disaster. Gifford has spent the past eight years studying people’s excuses for not doing things – what he dubs “dragons of inaction” – and cites five key culprits for lack of emergency readiness. Ottawa Citizen

Erica Woodin: The spanking question 
Posted on Oct 30, 2012

Dr. Erica Woodin is quoted in this Times Colonist article.

TAUGHT Talks coming November 20th 
Posted on Oct 30, 2012

 A special edition of TAUGHT will be held this fall to highlight different career paths open to those in Psychology, as opposed to the three traditional routes of clinical, experimental, and counseling psychology. We aim to highlight experiences that “Push the Boundaries” of traditional Psychology paths. Taught will be held on Nov. 20 from 7-9pm in SCI B150. There are three confirmed speakers: Dr. Bruce Monkhouse (Forensic Psychology), Dr. Kim Kerns (Child Development), and Mr. Michael Walsh (Executive Director of LifeRing)

UVic Psychology Department Fall 2012 Newsletter Published 
Posted on Oct 29, 2012

Check it out here!

Bonnie Leadbeater: How not to raise a bully 
Posted on Oct 22, 2012

Bonnie Leadbeater, who created the school anti-bullying program WITS (for Walk Away, Ignore, Talk it Out, Seek Help) is quoted in a Times Colonist article about bullying, and how parents should be alert for tell-tale signs.     TC   

Robert Gifford: Students, other groups drop, cover, hold on 
Posted on Oct 19, 2012

The message seems to have gathered momentum in the third year of the province-wide shakeout, with an estimated 600,000 people taking part. But Robert Gifford comments in the Times Colonist that "while overall participation was impressive this year, many people are still not getting their act together when it comes to preparing emergency kits and taking other steps ahead of an emergency or disaster."  Times Colonist

Robert Gifford: Ready for the big one 
Posted on Oct 17, 2012

Tomorrow's Great BC ShakeOut is the topic of a Saanich News story in today's paper that states, despite repeated media campaigns and shocking images of devastation from other parts of the world, the vast majority of British Columbians remain stubbornly unprepared for an earthquake. Robert Gifford calls this the "dragons of inaction."  Saanich News  UVic News 

Bonnie Leadbeater: How parents can reduce bullying 
Posted on Oct 17, 2012

Amanda Todd's suicide has brought the issue of online bullying to the forefront this past week and the Times Colonist has run a story about how parents can play a critical role in helping reduce incidents and getting help for young victims.  Bonnie Leadbeater comments in the article.  Times Colonist

Robert Gifford: Great BC Shakeout 
Posted on Oct 10, 2012

BC is getting ready for another Great Shake-Out on Oct. 18. The following University of Victoria faculty member is available to discuss why people may not yet have packed emergency kits or otherwise prepared for a major earthquake:

Robert Gifford (Psychology) is an expert in environmental, social and personality psychology. He can discuss various reasons why people may not prepare for emergencies such as earthquakes. He is available weekdays preferably in the afternoon from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. (Office: 250-721-7532 or

Great British Columbia Shake-Out:

UVic Emergency Preparedness:  


Media Contact:

Anne MacLaurin (Social Sciences) at 250-217-4259  

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UVic is celebrating its 50th anniversary from Sept. 2012 to June 2013. for more info.


UVic media releases and other resources for journalists are available at

Frederick Grouzet: Back-to-school blues 
Posted on Oct 9, 2012

Frederick Gouzet comments in a Times Colonist article about transitioning children into kindergarten and the beginning-of-the-year adjustments that are often the first big transition faced by children.  Times Colonist

Kerns/Smart: Re-wiring the brain 
Posted on Sep 27, 2012

Kim Kerns and Colette Smart use plasticity of the brain to help ease fetal alcohol disorders. The story appeared in the Saanich News.

Erica Woodin: The spanking question 
Posted on Sep 25, 2012

Corporal punishment (spanking) of children made headlines this month across Canada after the Canadian Medical Association Journal spoke out against it and the relevant section of the Criminal Code, in a Sept. 4 editorial calling for the removal of a special legal defence for physical discipline of children. Erica Woodin comments in a Times Colonist article that focuses on overall questions related to the subject. Times Colonist

Colette Smart: Mom faces long struggle with FASD 
Posted on Sep 17, 2012

Neuropsychologists conducting research at UVic and the QA Centre for Children's Health believe there is new hope for people with FASD. The Times Colonist has run a large feature article in today's paper including quotes from Colette Smart who is looking for volunteers for the new UVic study.

Smart & Kerns: Undoing the damage of fetal alcohol disorders 
Posted on Sep 17, 2012

Kimberly Kerns and Colette Smart were featured prominently in the local Press Group paper about the new FASD study.  Victoria News  UVic News

Psychology Co-op deadline is Sept. 15, 2012 
Posted on Aug 31, 2012

Psychology Co-op is accepting applications for admission until September 15th. Applications are available in the Social Sciences Co-op office, SSM A204.


Contact Inka, Psyc Co-op Student Rep: or Barb Fisher, Psyc Co-op Coordinator:

Robert Gifford: How do I overcome my eco inertia? 
Posted on Aug 28, 2012

In a special article in the Globe and Mail that discusses the question - why is it so hard to overcome my eco inertia and make more environmental choices? Robert Gifford's advice is sought and he talks about his latest research which has identified 27 "dragons of inaction," the psychological barriers that hold us back from making better environmental choices.  Globe and Mail

Stephen Lindsay: Truthiness isn't just in Stephen Colbert's head 
Posted on Aug 20, 2012

The "truthiness" study by Canadian and NZ researchers, including UVic's Stephen Lindsay and former doctoral student Justin Kantner, continues to be all over the news including last week's coverage in Postmedia NetworkTimes Colonist andMetroNews. And now Stephen Colbert has responded. Video 

Kimberly Kerns: Family 4-1-1: Warning signals 
Posted on Aug 20, 2012

The Times Colonist's weekend 'Family 4-1-1' column discussed children as young as three showing symptoms of ADHD. Kim Kerns is quoted in the story. Times Colonist   

Lindsay | Pictures influence 'truthiness' 
Posted on Aug 15, 2012

The Montreal GazetteOttawa Citizen and Vancouver Sun have all picked up the Postmedia News story on a study by five scientists from BC's Kwantlen Polytechnic University, UVic and New Zealand's Victoria University of Wellington that found US news satirist Stephen Colbert's concept of "truthiness" -- the idea that gut feelings frequently trump facts -- is a real phenomenon. The Times Colonist is also reporting the story, and Stephen Lindsay, one of the authors, comments as does Justin Kantner, a PhD student and fellow author.  Vancouver Sun  Times Colonist

Andrea Piccinin: Preschool children with focus finish school 
Posted on Aug 8, 2012

Young children who are able to pay attention and persist with a task have a 50 percent greater chance of completing college, according to a new study at Oregon State University co-written by UVic's Andrea Piccinin (Psychology). Tracking a group of 430 preschool-age children, the study gives compelling evidence that social and behavioral skills, such as paying attention, following directions and completing a task may be even more crucial than academic abilities. OSU Release

The story was also picked up by the Toronto Star

Gifford: We're all climate-change idiots 
Posted on Jul 24, 2012

Climate change is staring us in the face. The science is clear, and the need to reduce planet-warming emissions has grown urgent. So why, collectively, are we doing so little about it?   The New York Times has a comment from Robert Gifford who calls these habits of mind "dragons of inaction." This quote from the article is also Skeptical Science's "Quote of the Week."   New York Times   Skeptical Science

Stuart MacDonald | Volunteers needed for Alzheimer's project 
Posted on Jul 17, 2012

Researchers at UVic are looking for volunteers, 65 and older, to assist them with research on Alzheimer's disease. Stuart MacDonald is looking for at least 150 seniors, with no neurological history, head injuries or strokes within the past year, to help them in their search for early signs of the disease. Victoria Times Colonist

Congratulations to psychology grad student award recipients 
Posted on Jul 9, 2012

View award recipient list.

Robert Gifford: 15 things you should know about Canadian identity 
Posted on Jul 4, 2012

The National Post commissioned Forum Research to reveal the ebbs and flows of patriotism and the things that compel Canadians to identify themselves first by their cities, provinces or their country. UVic's Robert Gifford commented in the article.  National Post  

Jim Tanaka: Learning to Read Faces 
Posted on Jun 28, 2012

UVic's Centre for Autism Research and Technology (CARTE) was featured in a full-page article accompanied by a large photo on the front page of the Times Colonist's "Life" section.  CARTE director Dr. Jim Tanaka also mentions this year's Safari Face Camp, a free camp held annually.  Times Colonist   UVic News  CARTE website

Bonnie Leadbeater | Bully bosses: Cruel managers & powerless workers 
Posted on Jun 7, 2012

Monday Magazine's cover feature is a story about bullies in the workforce, in particular bosses that are bullies. Bonnie Leadbeater comments for the story that “bullies in the workplace are often people who were part of an ‘aggressive peer network’ as adolescents. The behaviour carries over to their adult lives and can affect not only their work environments, but all aspects of their personal lives as well.” Monday

Senior Instructor Wanted 
Posted on Jun 4, 2012

Senior Instructor - introductory psychology courses

Faculty position in Clinical Psychology 
Posted on Jun 1, 2012

Faculty position in Clinical Psychology (Clinical Neuropsychology)

Four Psychology Grad Students Awarded Sara Spencer Research Grants 
Posted on May 14, 2012

Four Psychology graduate students have been awarded research grants from the Sara Spencer Endowment. The awards, adjudicated by the Graduate Advisors of departments in the Faculty of Social Sciences, are designed to support applied research that focuses on Victoria’s Capital Regional District. The 2012 Psychology recipients and their projects are:

Lesley Baker, “Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction for Children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders” ($2,100)

Erin Eadie, “The Role of Health Risk Behaviours in the Link Between Posttraumatic Stress Symptoms and Physical Health Among Survivors of Interpersonal Trauma” ($1,200)

Sarah Hutchison, “Obesity, Self-regulation, Executive Function, and Exercise in Young Children ($1,200)

Kristina Kowalski, “Healthy Bodies, Healthy Minds” ($1,200)

Three other graduate students from the Faculty of Social Sciences were also recipients.

Faces of UVic Research: Bonnie Leadbeater 
Posted on Apr 25, 2012

Reuven Sussman: Please turn off the lights. 
Posted on Apr 25, 2012

Reuven Sussman, a UVic PhD candidate supervised by UVic's Bob Gifford, has concluded that conserving energy can be as simple as putting up a sign. Dr. Gifford says that most people simply do not know what the proper etiquette is in a public setting, but a well-designed sign asking people to 'turn off the lights' helped change people's behaviour. Metro News   UVic News

Robert Gifford: Blame the seven dragons for climate inaction 
Posted on Apr 25, 2012

 In an opinion piece for the Times Colonist today, Dr. Gifford discusses how humans are very skilled at finding excuses to avoid necessary change. He asks, "If so many people are concerned about the environment, why aren't more of us doing what is necessary to solve the problems?" He then goes on to answer the question using the seven 'dragons of inaction.'  Times Colonist

PSOVIPS Photos Now On-Line! 
Posted on Apr 17, 2012

Check out the Psychology Students of Vancouver Island Poster Session photos, here!

New Course: PSYC 191 - Psychology of Interpersonal Forgiveness 
Posted on Apr 12, 2012

Department of Psychology Summer Session 2012

PSYC 191 A01
Psychology, Contemporary Society:  

Is it dangerous to forgive someone who has hurt us?
Do we forgive and forget?
Are we killing ourselves by holding on to unforgiveness?
Are there unforgivable acts?

Answers to these and more await you in Psyc 191, Summer 2012

Topics covered include forgiveness and: health, personality, culture, interventions, restorative justice, perpetrators, self-forgiveness

Dr. Jim Tanaka on CNN 
Posted on Apr 2, 2012

UVic's new Centre for Autism Research, Technology and Education is the #1 story on for the network's latest health coverage. April is National Autism Awareness Month (USA). CARTE co-director Joseph Sheppard is quoted extensively as is Jim Tanaka, CARTE director and a psychology professor in UVic's Faculty of Social Sciences. CNN's senior health writer met Sheppard and Tanaka at UVic during the week of the AAAS event in February.  CNN 

Psychology Students of Vancouver Island Poster Session 
Posted on Mar 29, 2012

Psychology Students of Vancouver Island Poster Session.

Michele Pujol Room
Thursday, April 5
3:00 - 5:00 PM

Each poster station has its own unique story to share. Ask questions and the answers may astound you. Walk away with new ideas.

Experience the birth of new science. See the latest discoveries, hear the latest facts, and feel satisfied learning about psychology.

Meet Canada's newest student talent. Explore the latest in psychological research. Have conversations with some of today's brightest minds.

Psychology Students of Vancouver Island Poster Session 
Posted on Mar 29, 2012

Psychology Students of Vancouver Island Poster Session.

Michele Pujol Room
Thursday, April 5
3:00 - 5:00 PM

Each poster station has its own unique story to share. Ask questions and the answers may astound you. Walk away with new ideas.

Experience the birth of new science. See the latest discoveries, hear the latest facts, and feel satisfied learning about psychology.

Meet Canada's newest student talent. Explore the latest in psychological research. Have conversations with some of today's brightest minds.

Congratulations - Lesley Baker (psychology grad student) 
Posted on Mar 7, 2012

Psychology grad student, Lesley Baker has been recognized by the Centre for Early Childhood Research and Policy for her exemplary early childhood research. Lesley's project "Mindfulness Training for Children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD)" will be showcased this Saturday, March 10th, at the 4th Annual Graduate Student Research Day (10am - 3pm at Harry Hickman Building, Room 120, UVic). Lesley will also receive a scholarship from the Centre for Early Childhood Research and Policy in recognition of her early childhood work. To register contact or

Apply to the Honours Program 2012 
Posted on Mar 1, 2012

Applications are being accepted for the Honours Program 2012. To apply, visite theHonours Program page of our website.

Honing Morality 
Posted on Feb 28, 2012

The seeds for morality are in all children and can be seen in toddlers as young as 14 months, but need to be nurtured by parents, says Ulrich Mueller in a Times Colonistarticle that ran this past weekend Times Colonist

Early signs of Alzheimer's focus of UVic study 
Posted on Feb 28, 2012

A UVic study dubbed "ProjectSMART" aimed at identifying early warning signs of Alzheimer's disease has drawn strong interest from willing volunteers who want to help fight the deadly form of dementia.The story featured Colette Smart who is leading the study. Saanich News  UVic News

IdeaFest: Passport to the Social Sciences- March 5 to March 9 - Enter to WIN $500 grand prize 
Posted on Feb 28, 2012

Pick up your passport at any department office or download and print the PDF.  For more information, please contact

Unit head offices are as follows: ANTH (COR B228), ECON (BEC 360), ES (SSM B243), GEOG (SSM B203), POLI (SSM A316), PSYC (COR A236) and SOC (COR A333).

Knowledge to Action: Identifying BC's Contributions to Global Health Research 
Posted on Feb 22, 2012

The BC Forum of the Canadian Coalition of Global Health Research is hosting its inaugural conference to promote global health research networking among individuals and institutions and provide mentorship to the next generation of researchers. See poster here

Education called key to mental health 
Posted on Feb 16, 2012

At a national conference in Winnipeg today, UVic professor and LE,NONET co-investigator Chris Lalonde will discuss a study that shows suicide rates are lower among First Nations communities that have control over their civic lives.  The conference is centred on the belief that there are huge potential returns for school-based screenings.  Winnipeg Free Press

University presidents form working group on students' mental health 
Posted on Feb 9, 2012

A seven-member group of university presidents will examine how universities can address and deal with mental illness on campus.  On the same topic, James Bradshaw of the Globe and Mail has written an article on how Queen's  will host a new research chair -- the Bell Mental Health and Anti-Stigma Research Chair -- which is funded by a $1-million gift from Bell Canada. 
University Affairs / Globe and Mail

Taught at Uvic Winter 2012 
Posted on Feb 6, 2012

TAUGHT is back again! For those who don't know, TAUGHT is the Undergraduate Psychology Conference at the University of Victoria. Every semester, the UVic student societies 'Psi Chi' and 'PsychOS' invite UVic professors to present their latest research in psychology. This event is free and open to everybody so feel free to invite anybody you'd like!
This semester we are honoured to have:
- Tanya Lentz
- Christopher Warren 
- Ulrich Mueller
Find this event on Facebook

Psychology Honours Information Session 
Posted on Feb 6, 2012

Considering the Psychology Honours Program?
UVic's Chapter of Psi Chi hosts its Annual Psychology Honours Information Session.
Get the facts to help you decide if you honours program is right for you.
Current honours students will discuss their experiences and answer your questions about doing an honours in psychology.
And and all interested students are welcome to attend!
Questions? Email
Tuesday, February 7th from 4:30 - 6:00pm
Elliot 064

Congratulations to all our 2011/12 donor award recipients! 
Posted on Jan 27, 2012

Kristina Brache
BC Psychological Association Certificate Award
Andreas Breuer
Erich & Shelley Mohr Fellowship In Psychology
Cassandra Brown
Alice Lou-Poy Graduate Scholarship (through Centre on Aging)
Valerie Caldeira
Quality Move Management Inc/Allied International Vancouver Graduate Scholarship
Correne DeCarlo
W.H. Gaddes Scholarship
Julie Irwin
Norma M. Wilson Graduate Scholarship
Justin Karr
Dr. Robert Michael Peet Graduate Scholarship
Janet Love
R.B May Scholarship
Rylie Moore
Arthur Lester Benton Award
Stacey Ross
McCall Bros. Graduate Scholarship in Clinical Psychology
Catharine Sparks
Rotary Club of Saanich Scholarship (through Centre on Aging)
Christopher Warren
Robert, David & Douglas Vickery Award

Prof. Jim Tanaka presentation at TEDx Victoria 
Posted on Jan 9, 2012

Professor Jim Tanaka presentation at TEDx Victoria entitled Facing up to Autism: New Tools for Different MindsWatch the full presentation.

Training tool helps people with autism become face aces 
Posted on Dec 19, 2011

Making faces is the object of the game. National Globe and Mail reporter Justine Hunter interviewed UVic psychologist Dr. Jim Tanaka of UVic's new Centre for Autism Research, Technology, and Education, where a small team is developing software programs like FaceMaze to help people with autism learn to read others’ expressions. This article is on the front page of the BC edition of today's Globe and Mail.

(update) On December 19th, UVic psychologist Dr. Jim Tanaka was interviewed on the nation-wide CBC Radio evening program "As It Happens" about the new UVic centre for autism research (CARTe) and its FaceMaze program. Podcast

Volunteers needed for brain-exercise study 
Posted on Dec 9, 2011

Does exercise improve memory and learning in children with fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD)? Dr. Brian Christie, a neuroscientist in the University of Victoria’s Division of Medical Sciences, is seeking community help to find out. He’s looking for children with FASD between the ages of six and 17 to participate in a 12-week exercise program. (learn more...)

RCMP to Pilot WITS Bullying Prevention Program 
Posted on Dec 8, 2011

OTTAWA, December 8, 2011 - The RCMP and University of Victoria researchers have entered into a unique partnership to address the issue of youth bullying and suicide. On December 7, six RCMP officers from across Canada came together in Ottawa to take part in a pilot program where they received training in understanding and preventing bullying in elementary school children. Full Article (RCMP)

Big brains, big danger 
Posted on Nov 4, 2011

Mental health professionals on campuses agree anxiety, depression and other mental illnesses are on the rise. This is the focus of one of the articles in the Maclean's special rankings issue, now on newsstands.

Pshychos Clothing Sale 
Posted on Nov 4, 2011

T-shirts, long sleeve shirts, hoodies and sweat pants that say UVic Psychology with apsi on the back. See the Poster.

Schools teaching anti-bullying 
Posted on Nov 3, 2011

An article in the New-Brunswick Telegraph-Journal discusses the popular anti-bullying program (WITS) initiated by principal researcher and UVic psychology professor Dr. Bonnie Leadbeater. New-Brunswick Telegraph-Journal

Cornett Building: New art tour on campus 
Posted on Oct 3, 2011

Last week, works of Coast and Straits Salish art were installed in the newly renovated Cornett Building as part of permanent and rotating exhibitions of contemporary art. The exhibited art comes from UVic Art Collections as well as generous gifts and loans to the Faculty of Social Sciences by George and Christiane Smyth. A self-guided art tour is available: visit this link and then click on the Coast Salish design for a PDF of the art tour.

PsychOS Presents: The Third Annual Back-to-School Pubcrawl!

Friday, Sept. 23rd 7PM at Soprano's Karaoke
Tickets are $15 - gets you into 3 bars, 2 free drinks, an awesome Freud themed t-shirt and a goody bag filled with Tight & Bright treats!

Tickets will be on sale Friday, Sept. 16th, Monday, Sept. 19th & Tuesday, Sept 20th from 10AM to 4PM in COR A171

You can also email to reserve your ticket

PSYC Co-op application deadline September 15

Psychology Co-op is accepting applications for admission. If you are in 2nd or 3rd year* and have a B+ average in all your psych courses you are eligible to apply. Applications are available in the Social Sciences Co-op office, SSM A204. The application deadline is September 15th.

*4th year students may be eligible. Please contact Barb Fisher for more information.

CPA Certificate of Academic Excellence Recipients for 2011

Every year, the Canadian Psychological Association seeks nominations for the CPA Certificate of Academic Excellence, which recognizes the best Honour's, Master's and Doctoral theses/dissertations in Psychology departments across the country.  Students are nominated by their departments and receive a certificate and their names will be listed in the fall issue of CPA's news magazine Psynopsis and on the CPA website.

Congratulations to the following students who were nominated by the department and are the recipients of the CPA Certificate of Academic Excellence for 2011:

Honour’s thesis: 
Chelsea Durber
Drew Halliday
Sarah Jarvis
Master’s thesis:
Jacob Grand
Jonathan Rush
Paweena Sukhawathanakul
Doctoral Dissertation:
Colleen Bezeau
Rachel Yeung

Bonnie Leadbeater | Anti-Bullying Program

UVic psychologist Dr. Bonnie Leadbeater was interviewed by 'A' News yesterday for their coverage on a provincial announcement about funding for the existing anti-bullying program "Roots of Empathy."   Video    Related

Michael Masson | Scents & Sensibility

While homeowners go to great lengths to make their homes picture perfect, any lingering odours in the house might mean they take away unpleasant memories of their stay. But most people often don't realize there is a problem. "It's a blind spot for most people," says UVic psychologist Dr. Michael Masson.  National Post

Robert Gifford | The dragons of inaction

UVic environmental psychologist Dr. Robert Gifford has published an article in the APA'sAmerican Psychologist. The May/June 2011 edition of the academic journal is a special issue on psychology and climate change.  Edition

2010 CCDP Teaching Assistant Award Winners

Megan Caines, Julie Irwin, Lisa Reddoch, and Megan Yim are the recipients of the 2010 CCDP Teaching Assistant Award. Details here.

Martin Smith on the Culture of Drinking

The Saanich News continues its series on alcohol use in Greater Victoria with a bold theory: the more intelligent you are, the more alcohol you tend to drink. UVic evolutionary psychologist Dr. Martin Smith loves to discuss this theory, whose research springs from work by a London-based psychologist. Martin thinks the theory, although surprising, is at least partly true.  Saanich News

Psyc Grad Students win National Awards

Details here.

Lindsay: Soldier���¢�¯�¿�½�¯�¿�½s discipline helps against-the-odds recovery f

Canadian Forces Captain Trevor Green, whose brain was severely injured five years ago during an incident in Afghanistan, has been documenting his remarkable recovery with the help of UVic psychologist Steve Lindsay and National Research Council neuroscientist Ryan D'Arcy (a UVic alumnus). Globe and Mail

Leadbeater on CBC

UVic psychologist Dr. Bonnie Leadbeater was interviewed on CBC Radio Victoria this morning (03/31/2011) about the two boys who murdered local teen Kimberly Proctor. She discussed issues affecting societal intervention for extreme cases such as this (with both boys having shown early signs of psychological disorder) and lack of knowledge about available mental health programs for youth in general.

Lindsay on Greene in Reader's Digest

In the April edition of Reader's Digest, there is a story about Trevor Greene, who was in a coma but thanks to his fiancée has been brought back from the brink. The project led by UVic psychologist Dr. Stephen Lindsay with Ryan D'Arcy is briefly described in this article, with UVic being mentioned twice (pages 57 and 61).

Gifford on BC Carbon Tax Third Anniversary

The New York Times is reporting this morning that the BC carbon tax is nearing its third anniversary loved by some, hated by others, and yet forgotten by many Canadians. UVic environmental psychologist Dr. Robert Gifford is quoted in this coverage.  NYT 

MacDonald Named Research Excellence Award Recipient

Congratulations to Dr. Stuart MacDonald, who has been selected as the 2011 recipient of the Faculty of Social Sciences Research Excellence Award. Stuart will be presented the award at the annual awards ceremony for Social Sciences, March 31 beginning at 3:30 (Michelle Pujol Room in the SUB).

TAUGHT@UVIC Deemed Huge Success

15-30 minute presentations by six UVIC Psychology professors (Drs. Bub, Smith, Lindsey, Niehaus, Stinson, and Tanaka) on their latest research or hot topics revolving psychology. More here.

Award Honours UVic Psychology Pioneer Catherine Mateer

Acclaimed clinical neuropsychology professor and University of Victoria administrator Dr. Catherine Mateer is the inaugural recipient of a new award from the BC Psychological Association, created in her name—the Catherine Mateer Scientist-Practitioner Award.More...

Our Psi Chi Chapter Won!

The UVic chapter of Psi Chi won the 2011 Psi Chi Regional Chapter Award for the Western Region. In addition to the glory, our chapter will receive $500 and a commemorative plaque. Thanks to those who have been active in making this year’s Psi Chi so awesome. Thanks especially to Tamara Meixner and Chelsea Durber, who took the lead on this effort and wrote the 12-page application for this award.

Trash Talk with Dr. Robert Gifford

UVic environmental psychologist Dr. Robert Gifford is quoted in a local Press Group article about garbage around Greater Victoria.  Victoria News 

Bonnie Leadbeater, Psychology / Youth Against Cancer (UVic student group)

Victoria bans teens from using tanning beds

Greater Victoria has become the first region in BC and only the third in Canada to ban the use of tanning beds by teenagers. UVic psychologist Dr. Bonnie Leadbeater is quoted about peer pressure, in the Globe and Mail coverage this morning, and a student representative provides comment for the Times Colonist.

Dr. Cathy Costigan responds to recent MacLean's article

A recent article in Maclean’s magazine titled “Too Asian” includes citations attributed to me suggesting that my research shows that it is unsurprising that Asian students are segregated on college campuses.  Research in the United States has explored the experience of peer discrimination among Chinese adolescents, documenting the high rates of discrimination and exploring some of the reasons behind this ethnic bullying.  In this respect, the author correctly represented our interview. 

We regret that overall our research was misrepresented, or simply not represented, in this article.  Our research has no bearing on issues related to Asian university students or university student life in general. Instead, our Intercultural Family Study is an investigation of cultural adaptation, family relationships, and psychological adjustment among immigrant Chinese families who have children in high school.  In this research program, we have found that adolescents who feel more positively about being ethnically Chinese also tend to report better psychological adjustment in terms of higher feelings of self-esteem and fewer symptoms of depression.  We also found that the more experiences adolescents have with peer bullying, the lower their psychological adjustment. Finally, our research has found that adolescents reporting stronger feelings of ethnic identity are less negatively affected by the stressors of lower academic achievement and peer bullying. That is, feeling positively about one’s ethnic identity appears to be protective against risks related to achievement and discrimination.

These are the issues that I discussed with the author of the MacLean’s article. Any extension from these research findings were made by the author of the article and are not conclusions that we have drawn from our research.
Catherine Costigan, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Psychology

Dr. Robert Gifford on the subject of secondary suites

UVic researchers wade in on the subject of secondary suites.  Oak Bay News

Dr. Holly Tuokko in the Globe and Mail

Don't call West Vancouver's Village at Park Royal a mall. The shopping centre is marketed as a lifestyle centre with a design that encourages customers, a majority of whom are older than 55, to spend the day. UVic's Centre on Aging's business-friendly awards are mentioned in this Globe and Mail piece, and director Dr. Holly Tuokko is quoted.  Globe and Mail 

Dr. Bonnie Leadbeater on CTV news

UVic researchers Drs. Sibylle Artz and Bonnie Leadbeater spoke with CHEK News this week about the Kimberly Proctor murder; both have conducted research on anti-violence and teen bullying. As columnist Jack Knox wrote yesterday, "Victorians thought they had seen the crime [Reena Virk's murder] that would always leap to mind when Canadians spoke of teen-on-teen violence. But now we have this, the chilling, premeditated brutalization and murder of an 18-year-old girl by two boys." Leadbeater also provided comment last night to CTV News.

Dr. Danu Stinson on Heartbreak

UVic Psychology, Assistant Professor Danu Stinson appeared on Shaw TV October 20, 2010. She was interviewed on the subject of Heartbreak. Watch the video here.

Climate change a scare and a bore but worthy of serious thought

UVic psychologist Robert Gifford is co-editor of a landmark American Psychological Association report, Psychology and Climate Change, on the psychological hurdles people face when they try to stop polluting. Courier-Mail (Australia)

UVic Psi Chi Debate: Is Monogamy Natural?

View the video featuring Dr. Jeffrey Niehaus and Dr. Martin Smith

Computer games help children with autism

UVic cognitive scientist Dr. Jim Tanaka's research on how computer games help children with autism to read facial expressions is featured in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Dr. Tanaka is collaborating with Marni Bartlett, a computer vision scientist at the University of California, on a new version of Let's Face It! that will look and feel more like real-world interactions, using a webcam to detect the expressions children are making.    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette  Related

UVic Psi Chi chapter wins Model Chapter Award for 2010-11

Psi Chi, the international honour society in psychology, was founded in 1929 to foster excellence in scholarship in the science of psychology (see ).  There are approximately 1,000 chapters of Psi Chi, almost all in the US.  In 2003, UVic founded the first chapter of Psi Chi outside of the US.  Last year our chapter was recognized as the best in the Western North America region (for which we received a plaque and $500).  More recently, we received a Model Chapter Award for the 2010-11 academic year (for which we received a certificate and $100).  We were one of only 36 chapters to qualify for this award for 2010-11, which is “presented annually to recognize and reward Psi Chi chapters that consistently maintain outstanding records of membership inductions, chapter correspondence, service projects, and other criteria associated with being an outstanding chapter.”  For more information about our chapter, please visit .

Danu Stinson | Miserable Cycle of Social Insecurity

A new study demonstrates the real-life social benefits of self-affirmation. Details here.

Danu Stinson | Mob Mentality

UVic psychologist Dr. Danu Stinson was interviewed for 'A' News coverage last night about the Vancouver riots and mob mentality.  'A' News (Video)

Bonnie Leadbeater | WITS Program

The WITS anti-bullying program, developed with community partners at UVic and now with funding of $180,000 the Public Health Agency of Canada, can expand into BC’s remote and rural schools and evaluate its success there. Dr. Bonnie Leadbeater, program leader and UVic psychologist, provides comment for this local article.  Oak Bay News  UVic News

Travis Baker receives award at Canadian Student Health Research Forum

Congratulations to Travis Baker who was recently nominated by the Psychology Department to present a poster of his doctoral research at the Canadian Student Health Research Forum in Winnipeg (June 7-9, 2011). 
His research was awarded a silver medal in the CIHR National Student Research Poster Competition at the forum.  See the following website for information about the forum and for a list of award winners (soon to be posted):

Here is the abstract from his poster presentation:

Genetic, Drugs, and Cognitive Control: Individual Differences Underlying Substance Dependence

Baker, T.E., Stockwell, T., Barnes, B., and Holroyd, C. B.

Recent theories of drug dependence propose that the transition from occasional recreational substance use to harmful use and dependence results from the impact of disrupted midbrain dopamine signals for reinforcement learning on frontal brain areas that implement cognitive control and decision making. Further, the development and expression of the dopamine system is determined in part by genetic factors that vary across individuals such that dopamine-related genes are partly responsible for addiction vulnerability. This study tested the hypothesis that many of the cognitive and behavioral impairments associated with drug dependence results from the impact of disrupted dopamine signals on frontal brain areas that implement cognitive control and decision making: By acting on the abnormal reinforcement learning system of the genetically vulnerable, addictive drugs hijack the control system to reinforce maladaptive drug-taking behaviors. Using electrophysiological and behavioral assays of the integrity of dopamine system and brain regions involved in cognitive control and decision making in young adults, we recently demonstrated that substance-dependent participants, compared non-dependent participants, produce a severely reduced feedback error related negativity (fERN), which is believed to reflect the impact of dopamine reinforcement learning signals on cognitive control areas in frontal cortex, and behaved abnormally on a decision-making task, the Frank Probabilistic Selection Task, a task thought to reflect dopamine role in decision making. Here, we examined whether these findings result in part from dopamine-related genetic differences across individuals by collecting genetic polymorphism data, (i.e. DRD2, DRD4, COMT), together with fERN and Frank PST data in a substance dependent and non-dependent population. These results highlight important neurobiological and behavioral differences between dependent users that can inform the development of individually-tailored treatment programs.